Portland >Food & Dining > Rimsky-Korsakoffee House
707 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.517773 -122.653954
Friday To Saturday From 07:00 PM To 01:00 AM Sunday To Thursday From 07:00 PM To 12:00 AM
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Buckman
Possibly the most romantic coffee and dessert place in Portland (although the service is more akin to NYC than PDX). Dark and moody, with quirky art and décor, incl. several slowly rotating tables.
Coffee, teas and deserts take the stage here. A victorian house decorated with a node to classical music and a touch of zany! First see if you can decode the theme that is raining down from the ceiling, next be sure to stop in the loo upstairs for a truly unique place to pee.
I just returned from a fairly disappointing first visit to Rimsky-Korsakoffee House. The dessert itself was alright-- I personally did not enjoy mine but the rest of the group loved it, so it was probably a matter of taste. Regardless, the service was questionable at best. Our waitress was short-tempered and quite the downer. When she came to receive our order, I stepped in first and began to say what I wanted, in order to speed up the process (as we had a group of seven). She immediately interrupted me and said, "Wait, no, we are starting with.....her" and pointed at another member of the table. I saw no reason to her decision; in fact, it felt like a power play. Many similar incidents occurred over the course of our dessert. It truly would have been a much more enjoyable experience if she had just eased up on the sass.
THE worst service I have ever experienced. – PortlandBluePoet must be pals with someone who works at Rimsky's, is all I can say. Several years ago I swore I would never set foot in this overpriced, overhyped PITA of a restaurant again, after the time my friend and I went in and it took the waiter over half an hour to get through the basic steps of a) acknowledging our existence, b) giving us menus, and c) taking our orders, even though there was only one other table being served. 45 minutes later, we finally got our two slices of cake, cup of coffee, and glass of milk. Was the waiter in the kitchen, arduously baking the cakes himself, which, in my opinion, would be the only reasonable explanation for such a simple order taking so long? No, my friend found him out back, smoking a cigarette and chatting with a friend when she finally went looking for him. Then the check never arrived, so we tallied up the total ourselves and left a check - with a 10% tip, because my friend insisted. I wouldn't have left a dime, and I am normally the kind of tipper who leaves 25-35% without blinking. I'm not surprised to learn that nothing has apparently changed. If you want tasty desserts, a nice environment, and servers who don't act like they're much too special and important to actually SERVE people, go to Sweet Masterpiece or Pix - don't waste your time (literally) here.
One of Portland's most special and unique restaurants – I have had the pleasure of eating yummy desserts and drinking perfectly prepared coffee and tea at Rimsky's several times over the past few decades. I am frankly shocked at the negative reviews, as they are thoroughly contrary to my experiences! I am a New Yorker, and am not known for my patience or zen attitude. Rimsky's is a busy and popular place, a combination of a European-style coffee house and a zany, Portland restaurant. I've always had a wonderful time at Rimsky's, including just a few days ago. It's truly one of the most special spots in the city - one that helps "keep Portland Weird" (and may Portland always be so!)
Not for the High Maintenance or Self-Important Crowd – Surprise! The other reviews are right, the waiters and waitresses here do not kiss your boots as you walk in.
If you want people to suck up to you just because you're ordering food from them, go somewhere else. You're not the kind of people who'll enjoy Rimsky's anyway.
However, if you aren't in a huge hurry, want some delicious dessert, good coffee, or a variety of tea all wrapped up in a quirky ambiance complete with volumes of guestbooks with random poems and drawings, as well as live music from talented people around Portland, then it's an excellent establishment to go to.
Again, if you want to be served immediately, don't carry cash (there is a sign right next to the "please find a seat" sign that says they take cash only, for literate people), or have a problem with the artsy Portland crowd, you may be frightened away - this place is a real restaurant, not a polished consumer flytrap.
Worst Service In Portland – We often take out of town guests to Rimsky's, but will never do so again. After waiting 25 minutes to be served, a male server came by and casually asked if we'd been helped. He didn't seem surprised that we hadn't.
One of our party ordered a milkshake, and the server LITERALLY looked down his nose at him and informed him that, because they didn't have a blender (?), they couldn't possibly make a milkshake. We asked if they had (a) ice cream (b), chocolate syrup, (c) milk, (d) a glass, and (e) a spoon to mix it with. He informed us that his "wrists were too weak" to mix a milkshake by hand. We kinda gave up at that point.
When everyone else's orders came to the table, he had the person closest to him pass out the spoons, dishes, and desserts to the table. I suppose the strain of passing out the orders was too much of a strain on those weakened wrists of his.
We'd also brought a Scrabble board, which he managed to douse with water while distractedly trying to fill someone's water glass, -- he did not even NOTICE that he had done that, just kind of walked away afterwards and started talking to some friends of his that had just shown up at the door.
In short, the service here is terrible, and that's saying something in Portland. I guess we should have apologized for showing up, spending money, and expecting to be served?
Generally delicious dessert, terrible service – I've been going to Rimsky's for 8 years. In high school, it was a fun place to go- relatively cheap desserts, a rotating, seasonal menu and a unique atmosphere. As we got older though, we grew up and be began noticing rising prices, worse and worse service, how dirty it always was, warm tap water, and the food on the seasonal menu is somehow always out so you can't even order it.
We tolerated all these negatives, to occasionally go there for the mocha fudge cake, until a final straw ended it- none of us will ever go back.
We showed up an hour before closing, and were told we were there late. One other group were the only other customers. It took twenty minutes for the waitress to take our order, and then twenty minutes to get our desserts. Mine was red velvet cake, that was crunchy and obviously old and not stored properly.
We waited for the waitress to leave a check- and she never came back. We left the cash on the table, without a tip, and left.
After driving home, I realized I'd left my cell phone there. They were still open, so I called to see if I'd be able to come back to get it. The waitress answered, and threatened to throw my cell phone in the garbage, because I hadn't left a tip for her "terrific service." She told me the next time I went to a restaurant, I should consider not being such a b*tch, or I should not be forgetful. I went to the restaurant, and a different woman gave me my cell phone- I told her what had happened, and she shrugged and shut the door.
Although Rimsky's was a decent place to go in high school, for people looking for something besides some of the worst service in Portland, I would not recommend Rimsky's at all. Try Papa Haydn instead- the prices are higher, but it's clean, friendly, and worth it.
Please don't go here! – If I could give this place no stars I would have. Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from this place as possible! We went there to relax and have some dessert on a Sat night. Of course we expected it to be busy but it was obvious the managers did not bc there was only ONE person on the floor working. It was sad watching this poor girl dressed in what looked like a bad trip to Goodwill running around like a chicken w her head. cut off. It did explain her seriously bad BO, which for someone serving food to others is just unsanitary and disgusting.
After eating very mediocre food and getting our check, we watched our cards sit on the table for 20 mins as the girl and now one other lady (who was
wearing pajamas) repeatedly walk past our table and ignore us. I finally flag one of them down and they THEN proceed to tell us they only take cash. Couldn't they have mentioned something sometime during the 11 times they looked at our check as they walked past our table? We left our cash with 0 tip and walked out. they wouldn't have even noticed if we just left wo paying but we have more class than that.
Needless to say, we will NEVER go back. Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY.
Dirty and Overrated – The people who love this place must be the kind of people who think being cool is the end all be all of their existence. I had a date bring me here one night swearing it was a fabulous place to relax and have a cup of coffee. I can't relax and enjoy my coffee in such a dirty establishment and if you care about decent service go elsewhere! I swear if you turned on the lights there'd be a mad rush of rats and roaches. Disgusting!
Rude employees, Worst service ever – I didn't even get to try the desserts at this place because the service was so bad I had to leave. I came here with my family (Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother in-law) so we sat at ourselves (as instructed by the sign at the door) at the one table big enough to accommodate our group. As our server was taking our order she was informing us they were out of waffles (ok, those aren't made to order?) -fair enough we can get something else. Then another server came to our table to inform us there was more bad news...we were going to have to move to make room for a group of seven. Is that ok? No its not, because the table she tried to move us to was barely big enough for three people, let alone 5. AND it was dirty! We were also given the impression that we had no choice in the matter and HAD to move. I heard her mumbling to the group of 7 that we were not happy...no kidding! Amazing powers of perception! and yet she didn't care how we felt really and in fact seemed to expect us to leave, which we did! Im sorry we where there first and the other folks had already pushed 2 tables together and seemed to be making the best of their situation. So we left, and quite frankly I will never be back. I don't care how "quaint" and "quirky" they think they are, its no excuse to treat anyone the way we were treated.
Not to be missed – We love this place. Great vibe, music, coffee and dessert. Plan to spend some time just looking around and reading some journals.
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